Water Scarcity Clock

Real time water scarcity forecasts

The world is running out of water. The Water Scarcity Clock was created in collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) to bring increased awareness to this issue.

A Consistent Global Modal

The model for the Water Scarcity Clock is based on water data from grids of the size of 0.5x0.5 degrees. Each grid contains population and overall water availability for that area. Based on this data we calculate the average water availability per capita per year for each grid. The grids are then summed up to get the country number. Based on these grids, we are able to express what percentage of the population lives in areas with an average water availability of less than 500m³, 500m³ to 1,000m³, 1,000m³ to 1,700m³ and more than 1,700m³. The sum of all countries is the headline number which shows the number of people living in areas with less than 1000m³ of water per capita per year.

Methodology

To account for small seasonal variations, the Water Scarcity Clock uses 3 Global Hydrological Models and 5 General Circulation Models for its water data. Combining these together creates 15 different model combinations and the average of all of these is used for estimates. As a result, the figures shown will be independent from the choice of a certain model combination (implicitly assuming a uniform distribution across model combinations). This provides the most accurate estimate of water scarcity to date. For the population numbers we use SSP2.

Forecasts for every country in the world

Find out how many people in every country in the world suffer from water stress, water scarcity, and absolute scarcity. See which month of the year is the driest month for each country and how water scarcity changes in these months. Compare this year’s data with projections from 2030.

UNLOCK THE CLOCK

Learn how to get involved

Help us create the data necessary to end water scarcity in our lifetimes. We are interested in partnering with like-minded organizations in developing countries to create state-of-the-art water scarcity models and forecasts.

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